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Black Cowboys of the Old West: True, Sensational, And Little-Known Stories From History Paperback – December 21, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Black Cowboys of the Old West has a special place in my heart because these trailblazing cowboys of the Old West paved the way and helped make me the black cowboy I am today. This strongly written, proud saga is more than just a great book; it brings to life the quiet, unmapped stories of extraordinary men who have been omitted from history. Black Cowboys of the Old West is the most absorbing work of historical value that I have read in a long time. You'll want everyone you know to read it.”
―Cleo Hearn, “Mr. Black Rodeo,” founder and producer of the Cowboys of Color Rodeo Tour, and Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association member since 1959

“This book is a great reminder that African American men and women were indeed part of the American West. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, it is a must read for those who want to know about the little known or nearly forgotten black folks who made a living and a life on the cattle frontier.”
―Quintard Taylor, Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History, University of Washington

“Tricia Martineau Wagner, author of African American Women of the Old West, brings readers a delightful new companion volume, Black Cowboys of the Old West. The ten biographies in this well-researched and lively book range from rodeo stars (Bill Pickett) to working cowhands (Bose Ikard, Jim Perry).Wagner succeeds admirably in her goal of bringing black cowboys into 'the nation's vision of a shared authentic Western heritage.'”

―Richard W. Slatta, professor of history at North Carolina State University, and author of Cowboy: The Illustrated History, The Mythical West, and The Cowboy Encyclopedia

“Tricia Martineau Wagner continues to bring history to life with her book Black Cowboys of the Old West, a significant contribution to the study of African American history. Accounts of cowboys like Jesse Stahl, Robert Lemmons, and Daniel Webster Wallace provide information that not only educates, but also entertains.”
―Ed Diaz, President of the Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation

About the Author

Tricia Martineau Wagner has a B.A. in Elementary Education and attended the University of Toledo and Miami University, Ohio. She taught elementary school and was a reading specialist for twelve years. Professional associations are: Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Evangelical Press Association.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: TwoDot; 1 edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762760710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762760718
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like many people, I grew up watching programs and movies on television about cowboys and the west. Whether real or not my concepts about history were shaped from television. In BLACK COWBOYS OF THE OLD WEST, my preconceived notions were thrown out with the first two words of this title--BLACK COWBOYS. There were no African American cowboys in those movies yet these black cowboys were firmly a part of the real history of the west.

With spell-binding details, Tricia Wagner writes ten true stories of these cowboys and you learn about the key role they played in American history. The cover shows Nat Love and in the chapter called "An Unusually Adventurous Life," Wagner writes, "Nat's life as a roughrider was at times tragic.'Horses were shot from under me, men killed around me, but always I escaped with a trifling wound at worst,' he said. Attacks by Indians, white desperadoes, and outlaws were common in cow country, but it was the stampedes that got Nat's heart racing." (Page 84)

Also the chapter on Bill Pickett, "Bulldogger Extraordinaire" was remarkable. Talk about courage from a cowboy! Pickett would position himself face to face with a bull in a rodeo ring and as Wagner writes, "A bewildered audience watched in disbelief as Bill Pickett sunk his teeth into the snotty upper lip of the bull. He bit down hard on the steer's sensitive upper lip, holding it in a vise-like grip while simultaneously throwing his arms in the air." (Page 78) Wow. The cowboys on TV never did that sort of stunt!

Each chapter in this title is filled with revelations and interesting insights into the true stories of these African American cowboys. Wagner has culled these stories from a mountain of books listed in an extensive bibliography.

For a fresh perspective on the taming of the west, I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Until recent times, the role played by black men and women in the settling of the West has pretty much been swept under the carpet. Yet, as documented in Tricia Wagner's fascinating BLACK COWBOYS OF THE OLD WEST, African-Americans contributed their fair share to the history and folklore of the Wild West.

By any standards, the ten men profiled in Wagner's book were unique. How else would you describe a bulldogger like Bill Pickett who downed the animal by biting the bull's upper lip? 'Unique' would certainly cover mustanger Robert Lemmons, who Wagner labels the 'Horse Whisperer.' Lemmons would round up herds of wild mustangs by using psychology to become the herd's leader! Cowboy Charley Willis composed and sang songs to calm the herds he was tendering, some of which - like 'Goodbye, Old Paint' - become cowboy classics. By contrast, Bose Ikard became the right-hand man for Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight of Goodnight-Loving Trail fame. Daniel Webster Wallace, born a slave, was so successful in the Texas cattle business that he became a millionaire; what a tremendous achievement for those days!

In many ways, Wagner's book is as inspiring as it is entertaining. The chapter on Nat Love, probably the most famous African-American cowboy of all, is entitled: 'An Unusually Adventurous Life.' In many ways, that describes the ten men profiled in BLACK COWBOYS OF THE OLD WEST. Wagner's book is a great read...and a long-overdue tribute to some truly trailblazing individuals. Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com! You all have done it yet again! Most boys grew up worshipping and wishing they were cowboys! However; it was a sad commentary for me in a way not finding out until my adult years and being stationed in Texas twice where I began to learn there were actually Black Cowboys! Even now I am unable to describe my emotions at learning how much more enthralled I and other blacks period to learn we were seeing our historical contributions to the awesome state of Texas portrayed as white comboys! Needless to say; I continuously research other contributions our ancestors made in our country in general and as Black Cowboys more specifically; and to even be proud in some way to know there were even black bad men which made it even more real in a way! I urge all citizens to utilize the powers of research to unearth these historical facts! I am sure they will be amazed as I/have become! I want to recommend a couple of published references to get you started and I will assure you; you will become as hooked as I have!Bill Pickett: Wild West Cowboy (Best of the West Biographies)Bill Pickett: BulldoggerBlack, Red and Deadly: Black and Indian Gunfighters of the Indian Territory, 1870-1907...Read more ›
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